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The root word for passion is passus from the Latin verb patior meaning to suffer. The original, literal meaning of passion is suffering. It’s why Jesus’ death is called The Passion of the Christ. They knew their Latin.

The Stoics, which their circumspect view of feelings, termed the feeling of intense emotion as suffering. Thus when a Senator giving a speech was overcome with emotion, alas, he was passionate.

Nowadays, passion is still seen as circumspect by some stoic, brainy types. Yet it also holds much higher esteem. Indeed, it’s often pointed to as an essential element of being successful. I agree. I think being passionate about something and pursuing it adds power to action and meaning to life.

The overlooked part – and this is why I LOVE the etymology of the word passion – is that people who are passionate are willing to suffer. They are willing to pay a price to see their ideas and actions pay off.

The real value of being passionate is that willingness to pay that price. Important and meaningful projects seem to take much more effort and time than first planned. It is hard work. Being passionate about the work helps provide an impetus to keep moving forward.

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